This new series of reflective posts will document more of my creative process. A brief look at the art from the last month and some thoughts on where things might go next. My reflections on July focus on the latest collection, acknowledgement of a creative rut and sparking new ideas.
The reality of art practice is that there are different periods for taking advantage of changes in personal and seasonal energy. These seasons range from times to soak up inspiration to weeks of intense creation and whatever falls between. There has to space for input as well as output and adapting to these changes is part of the process for me. Sometimes, I finish a series but want to keep painting and find myself stuck.
In July, I had completed a collection of abstract paintings, with a focus on a deep red and orange palette and a feeling of movement. Some seem to explode with energy while others swirled and tumbled. I was happy with them although I had my favourites. (Is it ok to have favourites?) The collection consists of one larger 30″ canvas, three 12″ square boards and eight small 4″ works on paper that are needing frames and mounts. However, postal problems meant I waited over a month for the supplies to arrive and I have still not visited a framer.
The release of the art delays again and they sit waiting. I clear the acrylic supplies from the table and wonder how to proceed. (I’ll be honest, I was not motivated.) Months of uncertainty have left me feeling a bit lost. I feel like I’m still letting go of the expectations I had for this year and I’m struggling to find a way forward. My usual ability to adapt is stalled by anxiety and what’s the point of all this art anyway? However, I’m feeling like I want to keep going.
Getting out of a creative rut
I use a lot of ways to climb out of a creative rut when I want to keep making art, to fire up a spark of interest. Grabbing the Powertex supplies changes things up with different techniques and keeping my hands moving until I know what’s next.
The results are a couple of Powertex art pieces on watercolour paper. I use Rusty Powder and Bister sprays and get creating some grungy abstracts, one in blue and another in red. Keeping the supplies limited keeps it simple and stops me getting stuck in the decision making. The orange powder pigment is vibrant and I’m drawn to it’s colour but don’t use it.
Here is the first piece, no planning, just playing. The drips and the stencilling work well and the rust has a lot of variation.
Warming up my Powertex muscles again, the second piece is rust and Bister in Red and Brown. I enjoy using the rust textures although I’m a bit generous with the rust mixture this time round! The composition is not planned and it shows but as a playful experiment in materials it’s a success. The rust develops very evenly in this piece and I have to paint in some Bister to create more variation.
This painting has a few things that I would like to do more of and a similar piece in green could be interesting. The idea of painting in neutrals only with Black Bister would be unusual for me but would let the textures do the talking. There I go, inspired by the possibilities again.
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From the art table, Kore x